Tropical Research Reference Platform

Published date: 15th June 2020

Important considerations in formulating cassava peels-based diets

Cassava peel meal has been used in the feeding of poultry, pigs, ruminants, and aquaculture at both small-scale and commercial operations. Equated to cereal grains, cassava peel is low in protein and the protein it has is of poor quality with very low essential amino acid contents, especially lysine and methionine. This means that if it is used as a replacement for cereals, it is necessary to balance the protein deficiencies. As a result, cassava peel-based diets must be supplemented with protein sources that deliver adequate amounts of essential amino acids at the rate of 0.2 to 0.3% methionine for non-ruminant animals like poultry and pigs. Cassava peel based diets formulated for ruminants should also be supplemented with cheap nitrogen sources like poultry manure, cassava foliage or urea to augment the non-protein nitrogen needs of the ruminal flora.  

Locally processed cassava peel meal is usually characterized by dustiness and bulkiness, which could limit feed intake and palatability of cassava peel-based rations by poultry. This could be overcome by processing the diets further through pelleting or possible addition of molasses or fat to improve texture and reduce dustiness, while at the same time supplying essential fatty acids. Cassava-peel-based diets may also be deficient in carotenoids, therefore additives containing these products should be added to the diets to maintain normal egg yolk and broiler skin pigmentation. Since the nutrient composition of cassava peel meal depends on several factors such as variety, stage of maturation and processing method, there is the need to determine the proximate composition and the cyanide content of any batch of the peel meal procured for feed formulation.

Plate 1: Dried cassava peel powder showing the dusty characteristic (Source: Kiendrebeogo, 2017)

Nutritive value of cassava peel meal for broilers

Several tropical studies have shown that cassava peel and peel meal can be effectively used in broiler diets up to a maximum of 15 percent inclusion level, although feed intake increases as the level of cassava product increase. Indeed, the maximum level of cassava peel meal as a replacement for maize has been reported to be 50 percent, based on interpretations of broiler performance and organ development. Bodyweight gain was higher and there was about 20.6 percent reduction in the cost of production of the birds, while the cost of feed per kg and cost per kg flesh gained was also lower.

Researchers at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, studied the effects of feeding cattle rumen filtrate fermented cassava peel meal (RFFCPM) on the performance and carcass characteristics of finishing broiler chickens using diets in which the RFFCPM replaced maize at 25, 50 and 75 percent levels. They observed that finishing broiler chickens can efficiently utilize the RFFCPM at up to 25 percent as a substitution for maize in their diet since they recorded superior growth performance and carcass characteristics than those fed 50 and 75 percent maize substituted diets.

Another research carried out at the University of South Pacific, Samoa, reported that at 40 percent replacement of maize, cassava peel meal adversely affected broiler performance. However, Challenymes (a complex enzyme with 8 enzyme activities (β-glucanase, xylanase, β-mannanase, α-galactosidase, amylase, pectinase, protease, and cellulose) or fat (tallow) supplementation restored the performance. The cost benefits of supplementing broiler diet with processed cassava peels were also reported by the researchers working at IRAD Ekona Regional Centre, The Cameroons. They observed that cassava peels can replace maize up to 100% in the ration for broilers without any adverse effects, however, the lowest cost/kg live weight gain was recorded at 50% substitution.

Effect of ensiled cassava peel and caged layers’ manure mixture as an energy source for growing broilers was studied by a group of researchers at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. In this study, dried cassava peel and dried caged layers’ manure were mixed at the ratio 5:1 (w/w) and was ensiled for 14 days and the mixture was used to partially replace maize, in broiler diets at 25 and 50 percent dietary inclusion levels. The ensiled mixture of cassava peel and caged layers’ manure (crude protein, 23 – 24 percent) at 50 percent dietary inclusion level, boosted gain in dressed weight and reasonable cost per kg flesh gained, indicating that the ensiled cassava peels can enhance broiler performance.

Nutritive value of cassava peel meal for layers

It has been reported that the optimal inclusion level and utilization of processed cassava peel would depend on the processing methods adopted. Researchers at the Ladokun Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Nigeria, studied the response of Isa Brown layers to differently processed cassava peel meals. The methods were sun-drying of raw peels for 3 to 5 days to produce the sun-dried peel meal (SDCPM), soaking in a drum for five days, then draining out the water before drying the soaked peels for 3 to 5 days to produce the soaked peel meal (SCPM), soaking in boiled water (100OC) for 12 hours before sun drying for 3 to 5 days to produce parboiled cassava peel meal (PCPM) and packing fresh peels in polyethylene bag for 5 days before sun-drying to produce the ensiled peel meal (ECPM). The differently processed peels were used to substitute maize at 50, 75, and 100 percent in layer diets of similar protein and energy levels. The SCPM recorded satisfactory laying performance and egg weigh at 75 percent replacement of maize, while beyond 50 percent substitution level ECPM and SDCPM adversely affected bodyweight of layers. All the processed cassava peel-based diets recorded poor laying performance at 100 percent substitution.

Another study carried out at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria, was designed to determine the effect of cassava peel meal on egg quality and reproductive characteristics of Dominant Black pullets. Fresh cassava peels soaked in water in a drum for five days, and thereafter dried for 3 to 5 days were ground to produce soaked cassava peel meal. The peel meal was used to produce standard layer diets in which maize was replaced at 10 and 2o percent inclusions. A negative trend in egg weight was detected as the level of inclusion of cassava peel meal increased in the diets, indicating that increase in the inclusion level of peel meal results in the production of lighter eggs. Other studies have also revealed that wood ash solution (one-part of wood ash to nine parts of water on a weight basis) treatment of cassava peels for 12 hours produced a product that can replace up to 75 percent maize in a Layer diet, while for simple sun drying, it was 50 percent, beyond which, egg production and feed utilization declined, although sun drying reduced feed cost significantly.

It can be summarized from the available literature that feeding cassava peelings to layers at a level up to 25 percent of the diet enhances egg production and also increases feed per unit egg produced. Again, when layers are fed diets containing cassava peel meal at 100 and 200 g/kg, egg production, egg weight, and feed conversion remain similar to those of birds fed maize diets, but when birds are fed 300 or 400 g/kg cassava peel meal, performance becomes comparatively lower. The method of processing the cassava peel meal nevertheless has a significant influence on its success as a replacement for maize in layer diets.

Nutritive value of cassava peel meal for pigs

Several tropical studies have established the suitability of cassava by-products for feeding livestock and the potential of cassava peels as a good substitute for maize for all classes of the pig. The recent innovative methods of processing cassava peels by grating, pressing, sieving and drying developed by the International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI), Ibadan, Nigeria, have led to the production of a High-Quality Cassava Peel® (HQCP) for use in all classes of livestock. A study was therefore carried out at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria to evaluate the effect of 7.5, 15, 22.5 and 30 percent HQCP fine mash as a replacement for maize on the growth performance, and cost of production of growing pigs. The researchers observed that the HQCP fine mash could successfully replace 75% of the maize in the diet of growing pigs with about 4 percent decrease in cost per kg weight gain and with no adverse effect on growth performance. The results of another research carried out at the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria showed that feeding growing pigs with cassava peels fermented with a consortium of Aspergillus fumigatus (a fungus) and two lactic acid bacteria namely, Lactobacillus coryneformis and Lactobacillus delbrueckii at 40 percent dietary level, ensured carcass leanness and improved protein and dry matter content of pig meat.

Research attempts have also been made to use commercial enzymes to improve the nutrient value of cassava peel in pig feeding. Researchers at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria, included Avizyme® 1300 (100g/100kg diet and 200g/100kg diet) in a 45 percent cassava peel meal-based diet and observed that pigs on diet supplemented with 100g/100kg enzyme recorded the best daily weight gains and feed conversion ratios, indicating that 100 g Avizyme® 1300 inclusion in 100 kg of 45 percent cassava peel meal-based diet is ideal for growing pigs. Again, scientists at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria, studied the effects of feeding cassava peels supplemented with or without Farmazyme® 3000 proenx on growing pigs for 42 days. Thirty percent of the maize in the diets was replaced with the cassava peel meals, resulting in their increase in bulkiness and crude fiber contents as well as lowering of energy content, dry matter intake, and cost of feed per kilogram intake, with or without Farmazyme® inclusion. Enzyme treatment specifically enhanced diet utilization in terms of daily and overall weight gain, compared to the control pigs fed a maize-based diet.

Nutritive value of cassava peel meal for ruminants

Inadequate dry season feed availability and supply is a common feature of ruminant production in Africa and many tropical environments. This is due to the long period of dry season prevalent in may grassland pastoral regions with the attendant occurrence of inadequate or poor quality roughages for animal consumption. Nutritionally poor dry season roughages, therefore, remain a major impediment to the development of ruminant production at many tropical locations. Cassava peel may be fed to ruminants either as a sole source of energy or as an energy supplement to roughages or poor quality dry season grass. Its' low crude protein content, however, requires that it should be supplemented with a dietary protein source preferably urea, animal dung, or any other product to produce a complete feed suitable for ruminant production.

Scientists at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, evaluate cassava peel and rumen epithelial waste (a stomach by-product obtained from an abattoir during evisceration of cattle that contains 62.50% crude protein and minerals) mixture in the formulation of diets for West African dwarf sheep. Cassava peels supplemented with rumen epithelial waste at ratios of 100:0, 95:5, 90:10, 85:15, and 80:20 respectively, were fed to the animals, including a basal diet of Pennisetum purpureum grass. Cassava peel and rumen epithelial waste mixture at 80:20 ratios significantly improved animal performance as demonstrated by the exceptional body weight gain of the fed sheep, probably due to the efficient nutrient utilization caused by high dietary protein content and palatability of the diet. A recent study carried out at Kogi State University, Nigeria reported the outcomes of experiments with West African dwarf goats in which diets were compounded such that diet A had 100 percent urea treated cassava peel; diet B had 60 percent untreated cassava peel and 40 percent cassava foliage; diet C had 60 percent untreated cassava peel and 40 percent poultry manure; diet D had 60 percent untreated cassava peel, 20 percent cassava foliage and 20 percent treated cassava peel, while diet E had 60 percent untreated cassava peel, 20 percent cassava foliage and 20 percent poultry manure. Diet A, which contains 100 percent urea treated cassava peel produced significantly better weight gain and feed conversion ratio, indicating that urea treatment of cassava peels engenders better growth performance in WAD goats under tropical conditions.

Processing of cassava peel to produce silage as an energy source for dairy cattle is a common practice in many tropical Asian countries. This is usually done to improve the nutrient value of the peels to suit the nutritional needs of lactating cows. For example, it will require 14 days of ensiling time to develop a cassava peel silage with optimal dry matter digestibility, and lactic acid content. An Indonesian study on the nutritional evaluation of cassava peels as a dietary supplement for tropical Friesian Holstein crossbreed dairy cattle, showed that cassava peels in feed can produce higher total solid and protein levels in milk than the control group. They also lowered the feed and production cost, thereby increasing the farmer’s income.

Commercial applications

The feed industry in Africa is essentially based on maize, groundnut, and soybean, with a complement of an array of raw materials such as cakes from, palm kernel, blood, cereal by-products, and fish waste among others. Processed cassava peel products, therefore, represents an additional raw material that requires a lot of industrial evaluation before concrete business decisions can be arrived at on their use in industrial feeds production. Although the demand for livestock feed raw materials remains very high at most tropical locations, feed millers and other end-users remain cautious about introducing novel ingredients and would prefer tasted ingredients than a novel cassava peel. There is, therefore, the need to encourage the establishment of business ventures that will undertake to produce, brand, promote, and market cassava peel products to the livestock industry. To partly address this an IITA video on processing wet cassava peel into high-quality feed ingredients for making balanced rations ( demonstrated using a Feed Calculator App, the formulation of poultry, pig and fish feed with processed cassava peel products.

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Plate 2: Feed Calculator App for processed cassava peel-based diets

Again, a commercial organization called Middlebrook Farms Nig. located in Oyo town, western Nigeria is currently advertising and marketing its MBF High-Quality Cassava Peel (HQCP) mash available in dried fine forms for feeding poultry, pigs, and fish. The product could be used to replace up to 30 percent of maize in poultry feeds and 75 percent of maize in pig feeds. The coarse form is claimed to be suitable for cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats.

Plate 3: MBF High-Quality Cassava Peel (HQCP) mash


Scientific efforts at several tropical research stations have yielded excellent results on how to utilize cassava peel meal in the feeding of poultry, pigs, and ruminants at both small-scale and commercial units. There is however the need to up-scale these innovations into business ventures that will drive the industrial-scale production of cassava peel meal-based livestock feeds.

Bibliographic References

Adesehinwa, A.O.K., Dairo, F.A.S., and Olagbegi, B.S.  (2008). The response of growing pigs to cassava peel based diets supplemented with Avizyme® 1300: Growth, serum, and hematological indices. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 14(5): 491-499.

Adesehinwa, A. O. K., Samireddypalle, A., Fatufe, A. A., Ajayi, E., Boladuro, B. and Okike, I. (2016). High quality cassava peel fine mash as energy source for growing pigs: effect on growth performance, cost of production, and blood parameters. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 28 (11): 2016.

Ajagbe A.D., Oyewole, B.O., Aribido, S.O. and Sunday, P.A. (2020). Performance of West African dwarf goats fed cassava peels treated with nitrogen sources. GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 10(01): 009–012.  

Amadi, E., Ufele, A., and Okereke, C. (2016). Ensiled cassava (Manihot esculenta) peel and caged layers’ manure mixture as energy source in cockerel starter diet. American Journal of Life Science Researches, 4(4): 152 – 155.

Aro. S.O. Aletor V.A., Tewe O.O. and Agbede J.O. (2010). Nutritional potentials of cassava tuber waste: A case study of a cassava processing factory in southwestern Nigeria. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 22 (11): 2013.

Bawala, T.O., Adegoke, E.O., Ojekunle, A.O., Adu, I.F., and Aina, A.B.J. (2007). Utilization of cassava peel and rumen epithelial waste diets by West African dwarf sheep. ASSET Series A, 7(1): 168 - 180.

Dayal, A.D., Diarra, S.S., Lameta, S., Devi, A., and Amosa, F. (2018). High cassava peel meal-based diets with animal fat and enzyme for broilers. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 30 (6): 2018.

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Ezihe, C. O., and Uchendu, C. I. (2017). The Influence of cassava peel meal on egg quality and reproductive characteristics of dominant Black Pullets in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Journal of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, 2(3): 109 – 113.

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Okike, I., Anandan, S., Lawrence, K., Claude, F., Joseph, A., Ranajit, B., Peter, K., Alan, D., Tunrayo, A. and Micheal, B. (2015). Technical innovations for small-scale producers and households to process wet cassava peels into high-quality animal feed ingredients and AflasafeTM substrate. Food Chain, 5:1-2.    

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Pertiwi, H., Maharsedyo, N.Y., Amaro, L. and Dadi, T.B. (2019). Nutritional evaluation of cassava (Manihot esculenta) peels as a dietary supplement in tropical Friesian Holstein crossbreed dairy cattle. Veterinary Medicine International, Volume 2019, Article ID 6517839, 4 pages.
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